Welcome to Heroes of Mobile


Founded by mobile media industry veteran, Helen Keegan, Heroes of Mobile is about knowledge and networking events and other initiatives to help people get their heads round what to do when it comes to mobile. Whether it’s the whole of your job, part of your job or you just have an interest in the sector, there’ll be something for you here.

The next Heroes of the Mobile Fringe festival is in Leeds on 3 and 4 November 2015. And then we’ll be in Barcelona again from Sunday 21st February to Thursday 25 February 2016.

Find out about the festival, our sponsors and community partners, how to get involved, the events that are forming part of the festival, our media and community partners and plenty more to keep you busy at the fringe festival. There are ongoing sponsorship opportunities for local events, next year’s festival and online only. Do get in touch if you’re interested to find out more. And there are plenty of ways to get involved in next year’s festival – it’s currently free to add your event, we have a bunch of volunteers every year and we will need spaces to host pop-up events too. Don’t be shy. Join in!

More events in other cities will be happening later in the year.

Our social channels We’re on Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  Soundcloud (for our podcasts)  |  Follow us! Subscribe to our newsletter too for updates about us and our events.

More reasons to hang out with us in Leeds!

In case you’ve missed it, we have a whole bunch of events now listed for 3 and 4 November in Leeds. They’re all free to attend and you don’t need to be a mobile expert to enjoy them. You can see in the previous listings for the Innovation on the Fringe Goes to Leeds event, Swedish Beers Goes North! and the Ladies Lunch. Listed below are the recent additions to the line-up. We do hope you can join us. It’s going to be great.

Newly listed:

TuesdayFuture of Work: Open Space Session with Lloyd Davis and Nothing Great is Easy

WednesdayFuture of Mobile: Talk + Open Space Session with James Tagg and Lloyd Davis and also Future of Mobile Advertising: Open Space Session with Helen Keegan and Lloyd Davis

Fancy doing a session yourself? Get in touch with Helen to discuss.

Quick links to all listings on Tuesday 3 November and Wednesday 4 November 2015.

A big thank you to aql and Inspiring Interns for supporting all of these events.

aql logo 2015 inspiring interns logo-full-no-slogan

Ladies Lunch on 4 November 2015 in Leeds

Leeds ladies lunch 2015Having run an annual ladies lunch in Barcelona for female mobilists for the last ten years, I’m delighted to be organising one in the UK for the first time. And for this very special occasion, our friends in Leeds at aql will host us. We are going to a lovely restaurant which is located near to aql’s offices and once we have an idea on numbers, we’ll confirm that with you all. 

Lesley Cowley OBE will join us for this lunch and share some of her fantastic story with us and the event is sponsored and hosted by aql.

About Lesley

As well as being a Non-Executive Director of aql, Lesley is the first ever Chair of DVLA and a non-executive Director of CERT-UK, a Member of the British Computer Society Policy & Public Affairs Board and a Council Member of ICANN’s Country Code Names Supporting Organisation. 

She was previously CEO of Nominet, a role that she held from 2002-2014, after joining the organisation in 1999 as Operations Director. Under her leadership, Nominet became the trusted guardian of a vital part of the UK internet, providing services relied upon by millions of businesses and consumers. This success enabled £25m to be donated to its charitable foundation, the Nominet Trust, of which Lesley was a founding Trustee. 

She has an MBA (with distinction) and an Honorary Doctorate in Technology. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Institute of Credit Management and the British Computer Society. Lesley was made OBE for services to the internet and e-commerce in 2011. In 2013, she was the recipient of the inaugural ICANN Leadership award and in 2014, she was named by the Sunday Times & Debretts as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK. Find out more about her at her website.

I for one am very much looking forward to meeting her and with the other women working in mobile and technology in the North.

The lunch is informal and we can cater for most dietary requirements if you tell us about them in advance. There may be a small charge for the lunch (tbc) but it is being subsidised and sponsored by aql. Numbers are limited.

Men are welcome to attend, but must be accompanied by a female colleague.

We’ll be open from 12.30 and will start lunch at 13:00 promptly. There will be plenty of time for networking. Spread the word!

What innovations will we see in the North?

Innovation photo by Thomas Hawk.

Photo by Thomas Hawk. Some Rights Reserved.

Join us on Tuesday afternoon on 3rd November as we take a look at mobile innovation from all aspects of mobile. Short talks, demos and plenty opportunities to mingle with your fellow mobilists, this relaxed session should give you an insight into what’s hot and what’s not in mobile innovation.

This session is hosted by our friends at aql and supported by Inspiring Interns. And we’d love to see the best of what the North of England can bring us in terms of innovation. Do you have a mobile app, website, service or device to share with the audience? This could be at concept, prototype or fully-fledged stage – we don’t mind. We just want to see some interesting things.

To apply for one of the demo spots, please fill in the form here. Each demo will be 2 minutes with 2 minutes for questions. The format is show and tell style rather than a formal investment pitch although investors may well be in the room. There is no charge to participate. You do not have to be from the North of England to demo, but we would especially like to see some examples from the North.

We’re still finalising the agenda, which demos you’ll see and exact timings and it is subject to change. It’ll be along these lines…

Tuesday 3rd November

3.30pm – Doors open. Networking and light refreshements

4.00pm – Welcome from your hosts and sponsors

4.10pm – Demos – we have space for about 5 demos in this session

4.40pm – Networking break

5.00pm – Demos. We have space for about 5 demos in this session

5.30pm – Networking

6.00pm – Event finishes

The location is aql, 11 to 15 Hunstlet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ. For out of towners, it’s about a 10 minute walk from Leeds station. There’s a pay and display car park nearby for those of you driving.

The event is free to attend although registration is required. All registration details will be shared with our event sponsors and partners.

This is a Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Event. Photo by Thomas Hawk. Used under Creative Commons Licence.

We look forward to seeing you there!





This is a Heroes of Mobile event.

Swedish Beers Goes North! Leeds First Edition

Leeds 2015 swedish beersAs a Northerner by birth, and with lots of Northern friends, it’s about time we had a Swedish Beers bash up North and finally, it’s happening! with thanks to our friends at aql and Inspiring Interns.

We’re back with our favourite and long-standing Barcelona sponsors, aql and will enjoy the delights of their very own bar. If you haven’t visited before, you’re in for a treat. Doors will be open from 6.30pm and we’ll close when we’re done. It’s a school night, so I’m guessing that will be about 10.30pm ish.

If you haven’t been before, Swedish Beers is a business networking event for executives interested in mobile technology. Expect a friendly crowd, lots of chat about mobile, life, the universe and why Swedish Beers is called Swedish Beers and much more. There will be refreshments (soft drinks are available and in plentiful supply) courtesy of our lovely friends at aql. There will be people from all walks of mobile life there on the night – be that app developers, advertising, media, mobile marketing, handset manufacturers, payment providers, big data, brands, agencies, analysts, journalists, start-ups, veterans, noobs and much more. Come alone or come with a friend but do come.

Date: Tuesday 3 November 2015

Time: 6.30pm until closing

Place: aql Salem Bar, 11 to 15 Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ. For out of towners, it’s about a 10 minute walk from Leeds station. There’s a pay and display car park nearby for those of you driving.

The events is free to attend. Registration is required and all registration details will be shared with our event sponsors and partners.

Spread the word and look forward to seeing you all soon.






This is a Heroes of Mobile event.

About our sponsors

Lead sponsor and host: aql

If you’ve been to Swedish Beers in Barcelona before, you may well remember aql’s founder, Adam, and his crew from as they’ve supported us for several years now and are well known in Leeds and the surrounding area. They really know their onions when it comes to voice, SMS and hosting – feel free to test them on their knowledge on the night! They’ve been in the mobile business for a very long time, have the most amazing data centre in a converted church in Leeds and are great fun to boot. Meet the gang to chew the mobile fat, enjoy a few beers and have a good time. Find out more about aql on the night or from their website.


Supporting sponsor: Inspiring Interns

If you’ve been to any of the London Swedish Beers parties, it’s more than likely you’ve met onre or more of the Inspiring Interns team. They now have a new office in Manchester so they’re also supporting Swedish Beers Goes North. Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency connecting talented graduates with top companies and start-up businesses across the UK with offices in London and Manchester. Come and hang out with Martin and his friendly team.

Why I do improvisation. A follow up from the recent improv workshop.

stuart reid improv logoI recently ran an evening improvisation workshop in London with Stuart Reid. I attended one of his weekend workshops about a year or so ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. What I wasn’t expecting was how relevant it was in a work context. I had expected it to be all about laughing and enjoying ourselves – which it was. But it was also a powerful tool for improving communication skills, understanding how communication and collaboration work and for building confidence. With that in mind, we trialled a more work-related improv session to get some feedback from attendees to help us develop it further so we can offer more sessions in the future – both to the public and tailored sessions for teams and companies. It was great fun and a great success so we’ll be doing more of them in due course.

Stuart opened our improv session with a very short introduction as to why it was important so I asked him to put some words together on that to share with you all. Over to you Stuart.

Stuart- reid cropped“In my work as a consultant, advising leaders on how to after change in their organisations, I’ve discovered that there are two practices that make the biggest difference to how well prepared I am for my work.

The first is meditation. I don’t do it as often as I could, but when I do it makes a huge difference. And the second is improvisation.

These practices have three things in common. First they both encourage me to be present, to focus on the here and now instead of unpicking what’s already happened or being anxious about the future. And by being present I am also more aware of what’s going on, what’s happening in the room, more aware of my environment and I pay more attention to what I’m feeling and needing. It’s like being more awake.

Second, both these practices help me to accept what is. In meditation I accept whatever thoughts and feelings flow through my mind. In improv, I accept whatever my scene partner does  or says and it becomes my reality too – we build a shared world together.

The final thing these practices remind me to do is to trust the process. Improvisation, like meditation, is a process. At any particular moment I may not be enjoying what I’m doing, may feel out of sorts or not ‘in flow’. If I suspend my judgement, and trust the process, it will get me where I need to be.

What makes these activities a ‘practice’? It’s a bit of a grand-sounding word. Meditation comes in different forms: meditation of the breath, walking, eating, solo meditation, meditating in a group. Improvisation has games or activities with simple rules intended to teach specific improv skills.  What makes these a practice is that they are activities that are designed to be repeated again and again. I’ll never ‘master’ meditation: like taking exercise, it’s something I need to do on a regular basis. Improvisers return again and again to games that are old favourites, as well as playing new games to stretch their improv ‘muscles’.

So in an improv workshop, the games we learn are designed to reach fundamental improv skills, like listening, or finding inspiration in our environment, or building on ideas from our partners. And just like meditation,the skills we learn new improv ‘spill over’ into other parts of our lives. Being present, accepting, trusting. They are skills that can be developed, and everyone can do it. And improv let’s you do that and enjoy laughter at the same time. What’s not to like?”

hacklands circles plus 1Thanks Stuart. Watch out for more improv workshops from Heroes of Mobile in the coming months. And check out Stuart’s other classes and workshops. I highly recommend. Oh, and we may well have some improv tricks up our sleeves at next week’s Hacklands Festival. Come and join us!

Hacklands Festival of Technology 14 to 16 August 2015

It has been action stations at Heroes of Mobile what with Swedish Beers Midsummer Edition in London last month and the upcoming Hacklands Festival of Technology happening next month. So let me tell you a bit more about the festival.

hacklands circles plus 1 WHAT: Hacklands is a new hackathon and festival happening on a farm on the border of Kent and Surrey brought to you by Helen Keegan (Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival, Swedish Beers and more) and James Tagg, (author, farmer, entrepreneur, physicist and CTO & co-founder of Truphone).

WHEN: From 5pm on Friday 14 August to 5pm on Sunday 16 August.

AUDIENCE: We welcome adults and children who have an interest in technology either because they like building it or because they like to use it and are interested in future uses of technology. Under 18s will need to be accompanied by an adult. You do not have to be a developer to come. We will have sessions and space for both developers and non-developers and can cater for children too.

IMG_2023TELL ME MORE: It is a community oriented festival where we will combine elements of a hackathon (you can code and build stuff), an unconference or barcamp (you can talk about stuff) and a festival (you can chill at our campfire by our stone circle, camp under the stars, talk until the wee hours and enjoy the music and performances). And we have glamping too courtesy of our friends at Sleeping Bells.

We actively encourage you to get involved to build something, talk about something, perform something or learn something.

Interested in doing something – leading a session, giving access to APIs, arts and crafts, something else? Please tell us when you buy your ticket or you can fill in the form here.

WHAT’S ON: We have several areas available to use for unconference sessions, workshops or hacking (that’s what we call the software and hardware building bit). There are undercover spaces, tented areas and outdoor spaces. There’s wifi across the site (even the fields) and part of the farm is solar powered. We have some flat concrete floors which will be particular good for playing around with robots or landing drones. We have room for camping and plenty space for parking. We can look after 100 people comfortably, and we can make more space available if more people want to come.

Weekend tickets available now with or without camping. Food included in both tickets and a pay cafe bar available outside of meal times. Find out more at our website, Facebook page, Twitter or our Eventbrite page. You can also buy tickets by clicking below

If you’d like the glamping option, please find out more here and contact Gavin directly to book. Prices start at £80. Festival tickets must be bought separately.


Swedish Beers, London–Midsummer Edition–Wednesday 17 June 2015

Yes, it’s just a few days to go until our next party in London. It’s coming up for midsummer so it’s about time we had another Swedish Beers party. For those of you who were in Barcelona, it’s time to relive some of the memories and for those of you who weren’t, then it’s time to create some memories of your own in London town.

Drinks are courtesy of Buzzcity (mobile advertising specialists and our lead sponsor for the evening), Inspiring Interns (recruitment agency focussed on graduate roles), Fantastic Services (London’s largest cleaning company who are about to launch their cleaning app) and US Tax and Financial Services (there’s nothing these guys don’t know about tax issues for US citizens in the UK or for UK citizens and businesses headed Stateside).

There’ll be plenty drinks to go around of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties. There is food available to buy on the night if you haven’t had time to grab a bite to eat before you come.

We’re back at our favourite London joint, The Nordic Bar, where Swedish Beers began back in 2001 in the mists of mobile time. Doors will be open from 6.15pm and the bar has a late licence until midnight for those of you who want to stay up late on a school night.

If you haven’t been before, expect a friendly crowd, lots of chat about mobile, life, the universe and why Swedish Beers is called Swedish Beers. There will also be beer pong (yes, there’s a ping pong table) and, of course, refreshments (soft drinks are available and in plentiful supply) courtesy of our lovely sponsors. There will be people from all walks of mobile life there on the night – be that app developers, advertising, media, mobile marketing, handset manufacturers, payment providers, big data, brands, agencies, analysts, journalists, start-ups, veterans, noobs and much more. There have already been a lot of RSVPs on eventbrite already. Why not join them? Come alone or come with a friend but do come.

Date: Wednesday 17 June 2015

Time: 6.15pm until closing

Place: The Nordic Bar, Newman Street, London W1 (nearest tube Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus or Goodge Street)

You can RSVP below or over on Facebook. Either way, it’s free to attend.

Spread the word and look forward to seeing you all soon.



This is a Heroes of Mobile event.

Swedish Beers–The Barcelona Photos

In case you missed them on Facebook, here are the photos from the party in Barcelona in March over on Flickr. They’re better quality on Flickr if you prefer the full screen HD performance!

A big thank you to our sponsors on the night – Kochava, AQL, Futurice, Drippler and Joshua PR.


Photo credits Maria Stawska (– See her website and Facebook page) and Shafiq Mumani – Terra Advisors.

And here are the photos or click on the image above to get to the album. (Flickr no longer allows me to embed a slideshow here so you’ll need to head over to Flickr to see them). Enjoy!

Are the Androids Dreaming Yet? Artificial Intelligence in a Mobile World

androids book compositeArtificial Intelligence in a Mobile World
A talk and round table discussion with Truphone and James Tagg. Further guests tba.

Exercise your mind as well as your shoe leather this year at the Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival with James Tagg and his new book, ‘Are the Androids Dreaming Yet?’ No, not Android the operating system, but rather the big question. As Google hovers up Artificial Intelligence companies, what should we expect from our mobile devices in five year’s time? How long will we be smarter than our smartphones?

Doors will open at 5pm for a 5.30pm start. Tapas and drinks will be served during the session. RSVP required so we know how much food and drink to provide for you.

About the book

Alan Turing invented the computer, helped win World War II and left us with one of the greatest puzzles of our time – the imitation game. Can computers do everything a human mind can do? The book charts a journey through the science of information, from the origins of language and logic to the frontiers of modern physics. From Lewis Carroll’s logic puzzles, through Alan Turing and his work on Enigma, to John Bell’s inequality and finally, the Conway-Kochen ‘Free Will’ Theorem. How do the laws of physics give us our creativity, our rich experience of communication and, especially, our free will?

The book is available on Amazon and iTunes now.

About the Author

James Tagg is an inventor and entrepreneur. A pioneer of touchscreen technology, he has founded several companies, including Truphone, the world’s first global mobile network. He holds numerous patents, filed in over a hundred countries. He studied Physics and Computer Science at Manchester University, Design at Lancaster University and Engineering at Cambridge University. He lives with his family on a farm in Kent, England. 

This event is supported by Truphone and Talent Garden Barcelona.

In case you missed the newsletter…

It’s good to be back! Barcelona here we come.

Hello and thank you for supporting Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival. The festival is back in Barcelona for the fourth time. Doesn’t time fly?! Like previous years, you’ll find a wide variety of events happening, covering all kinds of topics and differing formats. There are more being added every day – yes, even at this late stage.

Here are some of the highlights:

Event listings are still free

You can still add your event listing here for free. I’d love it if even more people and companies can get involved. Events of all shapes and size are welcome. I don’t list anything without permission from the event organiser. If you need some help with your event or want to run an  event idea past me, then just get in touch by replying to this email. There’s still time – just about to sort something out for you. If you just need somewhere to hold your event, then I have the right lady on the ground to sort you out. I’d be happy to put you in touch.

Start-Up specials

Innovation on the Fringe is back for the fourth time and there’s still time to apply for your spot. If you’d like a slot, then click here for more info and to apply. And if you just want to hang out and see the demos, you can get your ticket here.

Ladies only

It’s the tenth Annual Ladies Lunch in Barcelona that I’ve organised. This year we have a very special place all to our ourselves – The Caravela Gourmet. There’ll be a full buffet lunch with a selection of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes. The price includes a glass of wine or soft drink. Mineral Water is included. Coffee and more drinks available to buy separately. The price is 30 Euro. Tickets available now.


 Swedish Beers is back on Wednesday night for the 10th Anniversary party. Yes, that’s right, this will be the 10th Swedish Beers party in Barcelona. To help us get the party going, we have a bunch of great sponsors. Our lead sponsor is Kochava and there’s not much they don’t know about analytics, big data and mobile attribution. They’re ably supported by the SMS, voice and hosting people, AQL and creative technology company, Futurice. It’s going to be a busy one so there’s still room for a few more sponsors to ensure that there’s free beer for everyone and extra space for when we’re at our busiest. The format is the same as previous years so no ties, no formalities, no pitches. We’re at our usual haunt of Dostrece and will be open from 7pm until late. Get in touch with Helen to discuss sponsorship, including special deals for start-ups.

Do you test Apps?

Our friends at UCL Advances are running a workshop to discuss the current landscape in mobile application testing. They’ll be looking at best practices, time and cost efficiency and the needs around internet of things. And there’ll be some food and drink to keep you going. They particular want to hear from app developers whether you’re a freelancer, an agency or work client-side. More information here.

And there’s more

If emerging markets and innovation is your thing, then check out this event from Changecorp: Changing Lives Through Mobile – Innovation in Emerging Markets on Tuesday 3rd March. Or perhaps you’ve cottoned to the world of cyber security and how it relates to our mobile world? If so, then DFRC’s event: Mobile, Mobility and Cyber Security is for you.

Get hashing

No, I don’t mean hashtagging on twitter, or anywhere else for that matter. I’m talking about the Barcelona Hash House Harriers who are doing their monthly run on Saturday 28 February and are happy to welcome mobilists to join their session. Subs are 4 Euro each. Sounds like a great way to start the week to me. You don’t have to be a runner to join in. All levels welcome. You may spot me – I’ll be the one lagging at the back!

Explore the secrets of Barcelona

My lovely friend and colleague, tech entrepreneur, tour guide and Barcelona aficionado has organised a few walking tours especially for the festival. So have a wander around the old town, take in some tapas and wine and meet your fellow mobilists on the Saturday before or the Saturday afterwards. She can also provide bespoke group tours. Prices start at 20 Euro per person. More info here.

Quicklinks to events listed by day. Check ‘em out Saturday | Sunday  |  Monday  |  Tuesday  |  Wednesday  |  Thursday  |  Friday  | Saturday

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